Shivering from top to bottom, we huddle on the narrow sidewalk outside Participant Inc. gallery on Houston Street in New York City. We are masked. As safely as we can manage from the global flows of COVID-19 (because of the virus, regulations in the city necessitate innovative solutions to the prohibition on crowds congregating inside). We are waiting for the three-part performance by Ron Athey and collaborators Hermes Pittakos, Mecca, and Elliot Reed—Performance in 3 Acts—which is staged in relation to the exhibition I curated Queer Communion: Ron Athey, a retrospective of Athey's now over thirty-year performance art career.
Amelia Jones is Robert A. Day Professor at Roski School of Art & Design, University of Southern California. Recent publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012); the catalog accompanying the retrospective Queer Communion: Ron Athey (2020), co-edited with Andy Campbell (accompanying a retrospective of Athey's work); and In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance (2021).